clothe


clothe
clothe, attire, dress, apparel, array, robe.
Clothe, the least specific of these terms, means to cover or to provide what will cover (one's body or whatever is bare) with or as if with garments
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clothe the child warmly

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clothe your thoughts in words

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rugged hills clothed and softened with snow

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The other words convey the same meaning but each one adds to it distinctive implications and connotations.
Attire suggests a more careful process and more formality than clothe and therefore is avoided except when the context requires that note
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he said it was for the honor of the Service that he attired himself so elaborately; but those who knew him best said that it was just personal vanity— Kipling

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Dress is far less formal than attire and much richer in its connotations than clothe. It often suggests care in the choice and arrangement of clothes and sometimes, especially in dress up, preening and prinking or selection of one's best or choicest clothes
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children warmly but simply dressed for school

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every afternoon she dresses up and goes out

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dressed up in his Sunday clothes

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Dress up sometimes distinctively implies an assuming of the dress of or a dress suitable to another
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dress up as Cleopatra

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while dress, especially in its intransitive or reflexive forms, often implies a change of clothes to those that are appropriate for a special occasion; thus, to dress for dinner implies a change into dinner or evening clothes
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I shall not have time to dress

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The idea of decking or adorning is frequently associated with dress especially in its extended senses
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dress the hair with flowers

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dress the table for an elaborate dinner

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yet shall thy grave with rising flow'rs be dressedPope

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Apparel and array are chiefly literary words used when there is the intent to connote splendor, elegance, or gorgeousness in what a person or thing is clothed with
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she had a garment of divers colors upon her: for with such robes were the king's daughters . . . appareled2 Sam 13:18

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a time when meadow, grove, and stream ... to me did seem appareled in celestial light— Wordsworth

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consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these— Mt 6:28, 29

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I rode with him to court, and there the Queen arrayed me like the sun— Tennyson

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Robe implies a dressing with or as if with a robe and has the same wide range of use as the noun but it typically suggests the enveloping apparel worn by a king, queen, or noble on state occasions, by a judge or a professor when the conventions of his office demand it, or by a bishop or other high ecclesiastic when formally but not liturgically attired
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helped to robe him . . . in a quilted robe of scarlet silk— Wain

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love robed her in a blush— Lynch

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Antonyms: unclothe
Contrasted words: *strip, divest, dismantle

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Clothe — (kl[=o][th]), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Clothed} (kl[=o][th]d) or {Clad} (kl[a^]d); p. pr. & vb. n. {Clothing}.] [OE. clathen, clothen, clethen, AS. cl[=a][eth]ian, cl[=ae][eth]an. See {Cloth}.] 1. To put garments on; to cover with clothing; to dress …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • clothe — clothe; en·clothe; un·clothe; un·der·clothe; …   English syllables

  • Clothe — Clothe, v. i. To wear clothes. [Poetic] [1913 Webster] Care no more to clothe eat. Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • clothe — I verb accouter, amicire, appoint, arm, array, attire oneself, bedeck, bedrape, cloak, conceal, costume, cover, cover up, disguise, drape, dress, embroider, empower, enable, encase, endow, endue, enfold, enrobe, envelop, enwrap, equip, fit out,… …   Law dictionary

  • clothe — [ klouð ] verb transitive 1. ) to provide someone with clothes: We asked for money to feed and clothe the children. 2. ) FORMAL to put clothes on someone: Mary is old enough to feed and clothe herself …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • clothe — [kləuð US klouð] v [T usually passive] [: Old English; Origin: clathian, from clath; CLOTH] 1.) formal to put clothes on your body = ↑dress be clothed in sth ▪ The King was clothed in a purple gown. fully/partially/scantily etc clothed ▪ The… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • clothe — O.E. claþian, from clað (see CLOTH (Cf. cloth)). Related: Clothed. Other O.E. words for this were scrydan and gewædian …   Etymology dictionary

  • clothe — has two past and participial forms: clothed (the normal word) and clad. Clothed is suitable for most contexts (except when the less formal word dressed is called for), whereas clad is reserved for special uses: (1) as a literary word, and (2)… …   Modern English usage

  • clothe — [v] cover with apparel accouter, apparel, array, attire, bedizen, bedrape, breech, bundle up, caparison, cloak, coat, costume, dandify, deck, disguise, dizen, do up*, drape, dress, dress up, dud*, endow, endue, enwrap, equip, fit, fit out, garb,… …   New thesaurus

  • clothe — ► VERB (past and past part. clothed or archaic or literary clad) 1) provide with clothes. 2) (be clothed in) be dressed in. ORIGIN from the same Old English word as CLOTH(Cf. ↑cloth) …   English terms dictionary


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